Workshop tour makes us drool; ache with envy

[Mtneer_man] has a workshop to die for. The slide show that he set up covers the different workbenches and shop setups that he’s had over the years. He’s got a core set of beliefs when it comes to his work area. He prefers to have several different work areas for varying degrees of dirty, greasy, stick, or precision projects. These are luxuries that most don’t have the opportunity to enjoy.

With a setup this nice and this clean it’s amazing he does any projects at all. Wait a sec,his workshop IS a hack. The more recent collections of his prolific Flickr sets he details the building and outfitting of yet another workshop in a new structure on his property.  We’re going to keep our eyes on this and see where it ends up.

[via YourlTronics]

Developing physical controllers for the uninitiated

[Dave] hosted a one day seminar at the Illinois Institute of Technology which focused on rapid electronics prototyping for those with little prior experience blinking those LEDs. As the defacto standard for novice prototypers it’s no surprise that he gave an Arduino to each team to use as the controller-computer interface. He started the day by getting the Firmata package up and running. Firmata is a set of libraries that make communications between software and a microcontrollers simple. In this case, each team developed a Flash game that used data from the Arduino as a control.

Several rudimentary games resulted from the day. We’ve embedded video of two of them after the break for your enjoyment. Lion Vs. Pig uses potentiometers, a distance sensor, and an arcade button to play a game of cat-and-mouse (well, Lion-and-Pig really). The other is Kick the Cat, a game that uses a flex sensor and force sensor combination as input. This is something of a virtual mini-basketball game that uses a springy material to launch a virtual feline at a target.

These teams already had a background in code, but the hardware was a new endeavor for them. Arduino helps to break down this cross-over barrier and we think this will result in more people to contribute to open source projects, and falling hardware prices due to a larger volume of demand.

[Read more...]

DIY Dyson vac hack

cyclone

[James Dyson] may have built eleventy billion prototypes to perfect his famous cyclonic vacuum, but sometimes just one will do the trick.

A cyclonic separator is used in workshops to keep larger cruft out of the dust collection system. The airflow inside a separator creates a vortex that flings heavier bits and particles to the periphery of the chamber, where they settle out the bottom, while relatively clean air escapes the vacuum port at the top. This makes for fewer filter changes and a more consistent pull from the vacuum.

You can go buy a fancy professionally-made separator, but [neorazz] shows how to create one from an assemblage of PVC fittings and a five gallon bucket. The design may lack the power and slick design of the big units, but for garage hack use this may be all you ever need. They demonstrate it to be about 95% effective, and it’s very simple to make. A prior cyclonic separator hack appeared a bit more work-intensive, but the principle is all the same. It all comes down to what skills you possess and what parts you have on hand.

Repurpose: a short documentary

This is a nice little documentary on hacking. Made by [Jack Oats], this video sheds a little light on hacker culture. Filmed in Foulab during a workshop, there’s plenty to to see and enjoy. Show this to all your friends and relatives that get confused when you use the term hacking.

[via NYCResistor]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,369 other followers